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Lukas Bobinski, Marc Levivier, and John M. Duff

The treatment of craniocervical instability caused by diverse conditions remains challenging. Different techniques have been described to stabilize the craniocervical junction. The authors present 2 cases in which tumoral destruction of the C-1 lateral mass caused craniocervical instability. A one-stage occipitoaxial spinal interarticular stabilization (OASIS) technique with titanium cages and posterior occipitocervical instrumentation was used to reconstruct the C-1 lateral mass and stabilize the craniocervical junction. The ipsilateral vertebral artery was preserved.

The OASIS technique offers single-stage tumor resection, C-1 lateral mass reconstruction, and stabilization with a loadsharing construct. It could be an option in the treatment of select cases of C-1 lateral mass failure.

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Sandro M. Krieg, Lukas Bobinski, Lucia Albers, and Bernhard Meyer

OBJECTIVE

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is frequently used for anterior column stabilization. Many authors have reported that intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) of the lumbar plexus nerves is mandatory for this approach. However, even with IONM, the reported motor and sensory deficits are still considerably high. Thus, the authors’ approach was to focus on the indication, trajectory, and technique instead of relying on IONM findings per se. The objective of this study therefore was to analyze the outcome of our large cohort of patients who underwent LLIF without IONM.

METHODS

The authors report on 157 patients included from 2010 to 2016 who underwent LLIF as an additional stabilizing procedure following dorsal instrumentation. LLIF-related complications as well as clinical outcomes were evaluated.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up was 15.9 ± 12.0 months. For 90.0% of patients, cage implantation by LLIF was the first retroperitoneal surgery. There were no cases of surgery-related hematoma, vascular injury, CSF leak, or any other visceral injury. Between 1 and 4 cages were implanted per surgery, most commonly at L2–3 and L3–4. The mean length of surgery was 92.7 ± 35 minutes, and blood loss was 63.8 ± 57 ml. At discharge, 3.8% of patients presented with a new onset of motor weakness, a new sensory deficit, or the deterioration of leg pain due to LLIF surgery. Three months after surgery, 3.5% of the followed patients still reported surgery-related motor weakness, 3.6% leg pain, and 9.6% a persistent sensory deficit due to LLIF surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The results of this series demonstrate that the complication rates for LLIF without IONM are comparable, if not superior, to those in previously reported series using IONM. Hence, the authors conclude that IONM is not mandatory for LLIF procedures if the surgical approach is tailored to the respective level and if the visualization of nerves is performed.

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John Michael Duff, Patrick Omoumi, Lukas Bobinski, Amani Belouaer, Sonia Plaza Wuthrich, Fabio Zanchi, and Rodolfo Maduri

OBJECTIVE

The authors previously described the image merge tailored access resection (IMTAR) technique for resection of spinal intradural lesions (SIDLs). The authors reported their updated experience with the IMTAR technique and compared surgical results between patients who underwent operations with 2D or 3D fluoroscopic guidance.

METHODS

The authors reviewed 60 patients who underwent SIDL resection with transtubular techniques over a 14-year period. The earlier patients in the series underwent operations with 2D fluoroscopic image guidance. The latter patients underwent operations with the IMTAR technique based on 3D image guidance. The results of both techniques were analyzed.

RESULTS

Sixty patients were included: 27 females (45%) and 33 males (55%). The median (range) age was 50.5 (19–92) years. Gross-total resection (GTR) was achieved in 52 patients (86.7%). Subtotal resection was accomplished in 5 patients (8.3%). Neurological complications occurred in 3 patients (5%), and tumor recurrence occurred in 1 patient (1.7%). The non-IMTAR and IMTAR cohorts showed similar postoperative Nurick scale scores and rates of neurological complications and GTR. The median (interquartile range) bone resection surface area at the index level was 89.5 (51–147) mm2 in the non-IMTAR cohort and 35.5 (11–71) mm2 in the IMTAR cohort, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.0112).

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery for SIDLs may be challenging, and meticulous surgical planning is crucial to optimize tumor access, maximize resection, and minimize risk of complications. Image-guided transtubular resection is an additional surgical technique for SIDLs and facilitates microsurgical tumor removal of ventrally located lesions with a posterolateral approach, without requiring potentially destabilizing bone resection.